Day 17 – Snow monkeys at Jigokudani Onsen

We have a bit of a trek today, and it is well and truly snowing now. After breakfast we take the bus to the base of the Jigokudani trail, then you have to make the remaining 1.6km on foot. It’s not that far but the snow slows you down a lot. The path is wide enough for about 1.5 people most of the time, thankfully there’s not too many tourists today.

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I’m really glad that we’re well prepared for this, we have plenty of warm clothing and good boots for the snow
The end of the trail leads to a small village, then the onsen pools are just a little further ahead and up some steep stairs
This playful little one kept running back and forth between some rocks and this tree branch
This is more of the Tri-X, I’m pleased with today’s shots as well
You can’t quite discern it but there’s a lot of phototographers in the background, it seems this is a pretty popular photography destination. I guess I’m one of them now
When they’re not in the pools, they’re mostly sitting around looking cold
Changing film out here wasn’t well advised but I didn’t have a choice
These daruma are made with a toy somewhat akin to a jaffle iron
Town mascot for Shibu Onsen I guess?
This is the biggest ryokan in town!
The menu at the little place we had dinner, really someone’s home that they happen to open as a restaurant
Super duper questionable electrical work

Tonight we decided to try a different izakaya, we got word of a place a couple blocks away called Izakaya Chokkun, named after the owner I think. It’s much livelier and is clearly the hangout of choice for expats and the like. There’s lots of photos on the walls, and visitors have autographed pretty much every blank space on the walls, which is really cool.

The owner is a real larrikin and loves talking, it’s a very cosy and comfy little place. Like the place we tried last night, the whole billing this is pretty vague. Chokkun goes a step further and doesn’t bother having a menu either – he can make pretty much any usual izakaya food, and you can ask for something specific. But he’d really rather you didn’t, and just eat whatever he feels like making. 😂

By the time we were done we’d ordered a few beers, some fried chicken, and some sake, and that was 2500 yen for the whole lot. I like this place.